Platypanchax modestus (Pappenheim 1914)

Photo courtesy of Mögens Juhl

Meaning of Name


First Description

(Pappenheim P. 1914)

Pappenheim P. & G.A. Boulenger 1914. Fische. Wissenschaftliche ergebnisse der deutschen Zentral-Afrika Expedition 1907-1908.
Zoologie 5 (2): p 252 - 253.


Males 50 mm, females 40 mm after Radda & Pürzl 1987. Some reports have suggested sizes up to 54 mm SL in Pellegrin 1928 & 56 mm SL in Poll 1939.

  • D = 9 -11, A = 17-18, ll = 31 (Pappenheim 1914)
  • D = 11-12, A = 19-21, ll = 30-33 Pellegrin 1928
  • D = 12-13, A = 19-21, ll = 31-32 Worthington 1932
  • D = 12-13, A = 19-21, ll = 30-33 Poll 1939
  • D = 12-13, A = 20-21, ll = 31-32, D/A = 1/8-9 Poll & Lambert 1965
  • D = 12-13, A = 19-21, ll = 30-33 Greenwood 1966
  • D = 12-13, A = 20-22, ll = 31-32 (+2-3) Radda & Pürzl 1987






  • Haplochilus modestus Pappenheim 1914
  • Haplochilichthys modestus Ahl 1924
  • Platypanchax modestus Ahl 1928
  • Hypsopanchax modestus Lazara 1983
  • Haplochilus (Hypsopanchax) Deprimozi Pellegrin 1928
  • Hypsopanchax deprimozi Myers 1933
  • Aplocheilichthys (Hypsopanchax) deprimozi Poll 1939
  • Haplochilichthys analis Worthington 1932
  • Aplocheilichthys analis Myers 1933
  • Hypsopanchax analis Huber, Seegers & Wildekamp 1983
  • Fort Portal (western Uganda)
  • Rutshuru
  • Rwimi River

Photo courtesy of Mögens Juhl

Photo courtesy of Mögens Juhl

One of my old shots of the sp. taken in the UK.

Type Locality

Reported as a forest stream near old Beni in the Ituri River drainage, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Reference 29° 28' E; 00° 29' N.


Found on the slopes of the Western Rift Valley draining into Lake Edward & Lake George. Also in the Semliki River above the falls & in the upper Ituri River drainage, northeast DRC & western Uganda.
Area extends almost to that of Aphyosemion christyi but this area seems to be populated by an intermediary species between modestus & Hypsopanchax platysternus.


Inhabits fast flowing streams coming from the Ruwenzori Mountains.

Distinguishing Characteristics Rusty red colouration in caudal & dorsal fins & rear part of the body. Neon green stripe on top of body from the rear of the head to the dorsal fin.
Colour/Pattern Variability Unknown but probably low.


Breeding Notes

Brian Perkins of the AKA New & Rare Sp. sent me some helpful notes on breeding this sp.-

1) Lots of cool (20-24°C) clean water stimulates spawning. A 40l tank houses 10 pairs nicely. The more water changes you do, the more eggs you will get!
2) Eggs are very large and are easy to handle, fertility has been very high- near 100%
3) Most, if not all, eggs will be found in a bottom mop. Floating mops are all but ignored except where the strands reach the bottom of the tank. Water incubate them (supplemental aeration of the hatching tray is not necessary for this spp. Of Lampeye.) @ 22°C and expect hatching in about 10 days. Fry are large at hatching and will take BBS from the beginning.
4) Expect a steady, not spectacular, stream of eggs from them.
5) Males are not hard on females they school very nicely.
6) For optimal growth of the babies, segregate fry by size, as the largest fry suppress the growth of the smallest.
7) Keep the water moving so that they have a current to swim against.
8) They are easy to feed and will take all foods. Bursts of egg production seem to come after heavy feeding of tubificid worms. I have never seen them reject any food offered including frozen and flake food.
9) They are not shy and will come to the front of the tank to be fed, very high potential for community tank keeping as they get along with all manner of fish of similar size and temperament.
10) For best color, position their tank so that you stand with your back to the light source and the light is coming in over your shoulder, natural light is best....
11) They are long-lived, and very hardy.

Thanks Brian.

Diameter of Egg Described as 'relatively large' in Wildekamp's ''A World of Killies'.

Common names associated with this sp. include Ruwenzori Lampeye & Semliki Lampeye.